15 October 2007 | Shanghai, China
Second International Symposium on Nuclear Power Plant Life Management
Director General Mr. YAGN, Deputy Director General Mr. WANG and Vice President Mr. YU, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen. Good morning!
On behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency, I would like to welcome you to this important international symposium on nuclear power plant life management.
In addition, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the government of China, especially the Chinese Atomic Energy Authority and the China National Nuclear Corporation in cooperation with the European Commission and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency for the excellent assistance that they have provided in the preparation and organization of this symposium.
Your efforts have been enormous and the hospitality you have demonstrated in the hosting of this symposium has been very generous. It is a great pleasure for me to come to Shanghai and meet with our Chinese colleagues and many other international guests.
As you know there are some strong signs of the emergence and rising expectations for the use of nuclear power for generating electricity. This is most obvious here in China and Asia at large. Therefore, it is fitting that we are holding this symposium in this region of the world to enforce the positive and extensive expansion of the peaceful use of nuclear technology for power generation, especially since the focus of the symposium is to encourage the improvement of performance and safety through plant life management programmes in a changing world.
The world´s fleet of nuclear power plants is, on average, more than 20 years old. Even though the design life of a nuclear power plant is typically for 30 or 40 years, it is quite feasible that many nuclear power plants will be able to operate in excess of their design lives.
This is essential and indispensable that nuclear power plant engineers should demonstrate integrity and reliability of system structure and components by analysis, trending, equipment and system upgrades, increased vigilance, testing and ageing management to operate nuclear power plants beyond their initial design life.
The IAEA organized its first international symposium on PLiM in Budapest, Hungary, in November 2002. Participants at that symposium placed a high value on information exchange during the symposium and recommended that future PLiM symposiums be organized within the every four to five years, thus bringing us all together this morning.
A total of 153 papers will be presented at this symposium, of which 79 will be presented orally, with the remaining papers displayed here as poster presentations. There will also be 9 keynote speeches presented at this symposium. More than 300 participants are registered, representing 35 Member States and 5 international organizations.
This considerably exceeds our initial expectations with regards to not only the numbers of participation, but most importantly with regard to the broad range of topics and contributors. This conference is significantly larger than the 2002 symposium in Hungary, a clear indication of the still growing importance we all assign to this topic.
I firmly believe that through this symposium we will be able to contribute to the worldwide sharing of recent lessons that have been learned from our operational and regulatory experiences, and that this sharing will play a critical role in the development of new and effective approaches to plant life management. The objectives of the second international symposium on PLiM are to:
The economical and safe long term operation of nuclear power plants must also address non-physical ageing issues. A large portion of the qualified workforce will retire in the next few years, and it is essential to address this loss of expertise.
Structured workforce planning is needed throughout the life of the plant in order to ensure that ageing of the workforce does not degrade plant safety and performance. It is also needed to ensure that experience in utilities, regulatory bodies and contractors is effectively captured and transferred throughout a nuclear power plant´s life.
Our challenge for the next four days of this symposium is to more fully understand these issues and the challenges to the plant life management for safe long term operation. We need to identify the best way forward in dealing with these issues.
In closing I would like to stress that throughout our discussions we should also consider several broader questions:
We hope you will propose recommendations concerning priorities for future work to be performed by the utilities, vendors, and, regulatory authorities to the IAEA. We also expect that as a result of this symposium, international co-operation will be strengthened, and a culture of active sharing and learning will be encouraged.
I wish all of you success during the symposium and thank you for your important contribution. Mr. Jianfeng Yu, vice president of China National Nuclear Corporation, has kindly agreed to serve as president of this symposium.
I now declare this meeting open and turn it over to the symposium president.
Mr. Jianfeng Yu, you have the floor.
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